The poppy seed is a very small kidney-shaped oilseed used a popular ingredient if food recipes as well as pressed for extraction of poppyseed oil. The seed tends to grow to about a millimeter or less in length and takes thousands of them just to make one gram in weight.
The poppy seed comes from the poppy plant of the family Papaveraceae with the scientific name of Papaver somniferum. The plant is also known as the opium poppy. It is good to note at this point that the seeds are in no way harmful in terms of drugs content within them. The seeds like all parts of the plant contain varying levels of opium alkaloids, especially morphine and codeine.
Eating foods with poppy seed in them can trigger false positive drug tests. The poppy seed is prohibited in a number of countries because of these alkaloids or because or possible use in growing new poppy plants. Some of the countries where the poppy seeds are banned include China, Singapore, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Poppy seeds are available in store throughout the year either whole or ground into powder. They oxidize and turn rancid pretty fast due to the high levels of polyunsaturated fats. With that in mind, it would, therefore, be advisable to buy the whole seeds rather than the ground ones.
The seeds will keep for up to six months if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry, and dark place.
Using the Poppy Seed for Culinary Purposes
The poppy seed is loved for its delicate, mild nutty flavor. They can be To roast is to cook food in indirect or diffused dry heat such as in an oven where the heat surrounds the food somewhat evenly. This method of cooking helps impart flavor and while the texture on the surface is caramelized and browned. Generally, it is meat, poultry, fish and root vegetables which tend to be roasted. It results in... More over mild heat in a pan or fried. This improves the flavor subsequently improving the dish in which it has been imparted into. It can also be ground into a thick paste and used as a thickening agent (khus khus) in dips, and curry dishes.
The seeds can be sprinkled as a A garnish is an item or substance used to decorate or embellish accompanying a prepared food dish or drink which may be edible or ornamental. They may be used to complement the flavor of the dish or to add a visual appeal. Common edible substances commonly used are parsley, paprika, chives, lemon slices and chocolate among others. Non-edible garnishes an... More on A salad is a mixture of small to medium pieces of ready to eat ingredients mixed together and topped with a sauce or dressing. They are preferred cold with few exceptions served warm. The dressing is usually sweet and sour in nature or can be salted and spiced. Salad ingredients range widely but most commonly they include vegetables, fruits, cooked... More, bread, and seafood. You will also find it used in bagels, cakes, biscuits, rolls, sweet bread, and Stuffing also known as filling or dressing is a food substance that is used to fill cavities in other food items during the process of preparation. It can be used during the cooking processes or post cooking processes. Common examples of foods that are stuffed include Turkey, roast chicken, boiled eggs, seafood, and vegetables. The stuffing usually consists of herbs,... More.
Some popular dishes which have the poppy as an ingredient include kuskus payasam from India which is poppy seed milk. Others are Strudel and Germknodel from Austria and Hungary respectively.
Health and Nutritional Benefits
Allergic causes of the seed are rare and can be considered safe for pregnant mothers and children alike. It is also not a good choice for sports personalities to ingest as the seed may trigger positive drug test results.
The seeds are rich in antioxidants and disease preventing properties. They are rich in oleic and linoleic acids. They are very rich in dietary Fiber also referred to as dietary fiber or roughage is the indigestible portion of food derived from plants. It comes either soluble in water or insoluble. They are normally resistant to absorption in the human digestive tract. They are found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It helps increase bulk in ingested foods, softens stool and shortens the total time... More, oils and fats, protein, carbohydrates, and energy.
They provide 525 A calorie is a unit of energy used in several fields. It is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius at one atmospheric pressure or the pressure at sea level. When relating to food, Calories with capital "C", also known as the food calorie the same energy as 1000... More per 100 grams and they contain no cholesterol. The seeds are rich in the B-complex vitamins including Folates are also known as Folic acid or vitamin B9 is good for DNA synthesis and is essential for alleviating Anemia and in pregnant women infant neural tube defects. It is a water-soluble vitamin. Folic acid can be found naturally in leafy green vegetables. Steam cooking helps retain more of the vitamin during cooking. You can also get it from... More, Niacin is also known as Nicotinic acid or vitamin B3 and is useful for the prevention of nausea, skin and mouth lesions, anemia, headaches and exhaustion. It is also useful in the regulation of high cholesterol in the system. It an be found mainly in protein foods like liver, chicken, beef, fish, cereal, peanuts and legumes.... More, Pantothenic acid is also known as vitamin B5. It is a water soluble vitamin used by animals to synthesize coenzyme-A (CoA), as well as to metabolize proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Major food sources include dried mushrooms, liver, dried egg yolks and sunflower seeds among others. Pantothenic acid deficiency is extremely rare but symptoms include impaired energy production, irritability, fatigue, and... More, Pyridoxine is also known as pyridoxol or vitamin B6 and can be gotten from fruit, vegetables, and grains. It helps prevent confusion, ulcerations, conjuctivitis, intertigo and neuropathy among others. Alcoholics and the elderly are usually the demographics that tend to have increased risk of vitamin B6 deficiency.... More, Riboflavin is also known as vitamin B2 helps prevent migraines and is good for cellular respiration. It can be found in eggs, milk, meat and green vegetables. Deficiency results in symptoms similar to Pellagra. Others include chapped lips, red tongue, sore throat, inflammation of the mouth and scaly rashes on private parts.... More, and Thiamin, Thiamine or Vitamin B1 helps prevent disorders like beriberi and korsakoff's syndrome and can lead to metabolic coma and death. Yeast, yeast extract, pork, whole grain brown bread and other cereals are good sources of vitamin B1.... More. They are also a good source of vitamin E.
The poppy seed is also very rich in minerals including Copper, Iron, Manganese, Phosphorous, Calcium, Magnesium, Selenium, and Zinc. It is also a good source of Potassium and comes with lesser amounts of Sodium.
The plant is believed to originate from East Mediterranean and Asia Minor regions with Egypt having evidence of early use of the seeds. The plant grows well in regions with fertile soil and plenty of sunlight. Mature plants reach a height of up to five feet.
The plant produces a fruit which contains the seeds. This fruit grows to about 4 to 6 centimeters in length and 3 to 4 centimeters in diameter. The seeds contained within them are white and light gray to dark gray, or black in color.